ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. – A new group in Rockingham County could help save the country hundreds of millions of dollars. The Committee to Eliminate Assistance Fraud is putting together a presentation to show other lawmakers how Rockingham County has recouped more than $700,000 from people committing public assistance fraud. All that money in just the last year and a half.
"We're even going to send it to President Trump. We're going to say look if little old Rockingham county can do this much just imagine what you can do nationwide if you start holding people accountable,” Commissioner Craig Travis said.
It started when the County hired an undercover investigator and set up an anonymous public tip line where you can report someone who might be abusing benefits.
"When you're ripping off the system to benefit you, you're stealing from the taxpayers. That's wrong. And that needs to stop. Because I tell everybody if I can keep these people from stealing from you than that means I have more money for the people that really need help,” Travis said.
Although EBT fraud still happens too much, the USDA estimates it's decreasing. In 1993 the agency thought 4 cents of every dollar in benefits was misused. The latest estimates drop that to 1 single penny.